CLEVELAND (AP) — A die-hard fan of mixed-martial arts, Indians catcher Yan Gomes wore a T-shirt following Sunday’s game with “Throat Punch” written on the front.
The clothing choice was fitting.
Cleveland blasted Kansas City with all it had.
Gomes hit a grand slam to highlight a nine-run second inning against two Royals rookie left-handers and the Indians completed a three-game shutout sweep over one of their AL Central rivals with a 12-0 win on Sunday.
The Indians thoroughly dominated the Royals over three days at Progressive Field, outscoring them 20-0 while posting three consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1956.
“It’s unbelievable, man,” Gomes said. “It’s definitely something. You start taking it in and it’s like, ‘All right, let’s keep it going.’”
Carlos Carrasco (13-6) allowed six hits in seven innings as the Indians moved 17 games over .500 for the first time this season and opened a nine-game lead in the division over the Royals, who came to town thinking they could close the gap on the AL champions.
Instead, Kansas City is staggering home in the midst of the longest scoring drought — now at 34 innings — in team history.
Francisco Lindor hit a two-run homer in the second off Eric Skoglund (1-2) before Carlos Santana connected for a three-run shot against Onelki Garcia. Gomes capped Cleveland’s biggest inning this season with his drive off the reliever, who was promoted from the minors Saturday and made his first major league appearance since 2013.
Carrasco followed strong starts by Ryan Merritt and Mike Clevinger in shutting down the Royals. Of course, it helped that he took the mound in the third with a 12-run lead.
And while the Indians have bigger goals that winning their division, manager Terry Francona said it was good to open some distance over a dangerous team.
The Indians showed no mercy in the second when they teed off on Skoglund and Garcia. The Royals were in a bind after placing scheduled starter Danny Duffy on the disabled list Saturday with a sore elbow.
Already down 3-0, Skoglund gave up a leadoff single before Lindor hit his 24th homer. Austin Jackson followed with a double, and Skoglund yielded a one-out walk before being pulled. Garcia came on and Santana belted his second pitch off the left-field foul pole for his 20th homer.
The Indians loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Gomes connected for his ninth homer and second career slam.